BLBA INCENSED BY THE UNLAWFUL MPRDA AND ITS AMENDMENT PROCESS

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The MPRDA Amendment Bill was on the 20 April 2017, presented at the Rustenburg Civic Centre, to communities in the North West Province for input.

Bafokeng Land Buyers’ Association (‘BLBA’), an association of vulnerable mine-hosting rural communities under the jurisdiction of the Bafokeng Traditional Council, were not informed of the hearing, despite the hearing taking place within their area. The association has made numerous presentations before national and provincial Parliaments on human rights abuses suffered by mine-hosting communities in favour of mining profits and greed.

The Association had in February 2014 assisted the mine-hosting communities of Mogono and Maile to lodge a formal appeal against Impala Platinum Mine’s mining license. Impala, a South African company formed at the height of international sanctions against apartheid in South Africa, is still one of the top three platinum producing mining companies in the world. The company continue to exploit underground platinum minerals in the land occupied by the said mine-hosting communities, this done without due regard to damages and human rights abuses to both the communities and the environment.

It was opportune for BLBA to gate-crush the public hearing, and to raise community concerns about the MPRDA itself and the Amendment Bill in particular.

The Association has made its written submission on the Bill, and makes among others, the following recommendations:

  1. The distinction between mining communities, migrant mining communities and mine-hosting communities be made.
  2.  …. the office of the Regional Manager would better be placed within local government at local Municipalities, this to ensure close monitoring and speedy access and response to community concerns. As it is, mining companies and the Minister have divested their accountability to local communities and Municipalities affected by mining. We see this as a major impediment to justice as aforesaid.
  1. Mine-hosting communities should be compensated with the minimum prescribed 20% before permits or mining rights are granted or renewed.
  1. To that regard, MPRDA, in much the same way it provides for rehabilitation fund (a post-de-facto mechanism), must provide for an independent community driven mining impact assessment on the community and its environment. This should determine the baseline amount necessary for negotiations around compensation for future or past damages.
  1. Government should consider developing and facilitating supporting relations between benefitting mine-hosting community trusts and various organs of state such as the IDC for industrial investment and development in the affected communities.

Find the submission here: Bafokeng Land Buyers Association – Input into MPRDA Amendment Bill – North West Legislature-signed

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